Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lane Furniture is My New Best Friend

Once again I just have to pat Lane Furniture Company on the back. We have a 20 year old sectional that, as far as 20 year old sectionals go, is still in fairly decent shape. There are a few minor stains here and there but thanks to the now hideous early 90s fabric I chose, they're really not that noticeable. And oddly enough I don't think there's a single rip in the fabric anywhere despite it having lived through a couple of dogs, a cat, a squirrel, a sugar glider and a child.

I've been trolling Craigslist for about 6 months, looking for a suitable replacement for this couch. Honestly, I'm tired of the sectional and would rather have a sofa and loveseat now. But, of course, they must be the right size, shape, color (or easily slip covered), have strong bones, no odors, and cost under $100. In the world of used furniture that's a lot to ask.

Recently I decided that maybe I haven't found the right replacement yet because the current couch is not in the best condition it could be for when I decide to sell it. Or maybe I should get it repaired because we might be stuck with it for the rest of our lives. Mr. Sectional looks just fine but both of his ends have recliners and neither of them work anymore. Jayson flipped them over to see what the problem was and there are broken springs and metal bars that have come unwelded. That's not an easy fix.

I figured it wouldn't hurt to look into how much it would cost to get Mr. Sectional functioning again so I  took about a dozen pictures of the broken areas then went to Lane's website and filled out the form they use when you are requesting replacement parts. I gave them serial numbers and explained that I have pictures of the broken pieces that I could send if they needed them.

About a week later I got an email from a gal at Lane explaining that they no longer have replacement parts for Mr. Sectional since his reclining mechanisms have been replaced with an updated version. I figured as much. Then she went on to say that she would have to send me entirely new mechanisms for both sectionals and she asked that I verify the serial numbers.

I wrote back to make sure that she understood I was talking about the big metal pieces under the couch and not just the lever you pull to make the chairs recline. One of those broke about 5 years ago and Lane sent us a free replacement lever with instructions on how to replace it and everything. That was great but this was a much bigger problem.

Ms. Lane responded that she did understand and she explained that the reclining mechanisms were still covered under the factory warranty so they would be replaced at no cost to us for the parts. She attached an instruction booklet with full color photographs explaining how to replace the parts ourselves or she said we could contact a local furniture repairman if we preferred. We never do that until we have screwed something up so severely that only a professional can get us out of the hole we've dug ourselves in.

My response to her was something like, "Are you freaking kidding me?!!? You do understand this sofa is 20 years old, right?!" She understood and said our parts should be here in a couple of weeks.

I really can't remember the details from when we bought Mr. Sectional and I probably never knew them to begin with. I'm sure the salesperson explained the lifetime warranty to us but who cares about all that? We weren't buying a car, it was a couch for Pete's sake. We just wanted it to be comfortable and look good. Besides I never in my wildest nightmares dreams expected we'd be sitting on this same couch 20 years later.

It only took a few days for 2 big boxes to show up on our doorstep. Jayson has assembled several different pieces of furniture from IKEA where the instructions just have drawings with no words so this should be a piece of cake for him. And it should provide me with all kinds of interesting pieces of scrap metal to fashion into something slightly fabulous :)

I only wish I had enough fabric on hand to start reupholstering while he's got everything torn apart. I've decided that we will probably keep Mr. Sectional forever since Lane is willing to keep him functioning forever at no cost to us. The sofa is in a traditional style that can blend with just about any other decor you put with it. Changing the fabric is no big deal either. I've never actually done it but I've seen it done on the internet so I'm sure I can do it. It's that brain surgery thing. I've seen it done on the Discovery Channel so I'm certain I could perform brains surgery if I had to. It's all about having the right tools.

We rarely buy new furniture, in fact I would say that Mr. Sectional is technically the only piece of real furniture we've ever bought new. We buy new mattresses for our beds when they're needed and we recently bought several pieces of furniture at IKEA but I don't even count those since they're practically disposable. I can say this: If we ever do decide to buy a new piece of real furniture it will most definitely be from Lane. And in the off chance someone from Lane Furniture (owned by Furniture Brands International which also owns other fine brands such as Broyhill, Thomasville and Drexel Heritage) happens to read this and would like to send me a customer appreciation gift, there are a couple of things that have caught my eye.

This buffet from the Hampton Cove Collection would make a perfect display cabinet for my Delft pieces. I can see dozens of future blog posts about all the possibilities this cabinet offers which surely would make my readers rush out to buy similar Lane pieces so they could all be just like me. Or just like me with just a touch more mental health.

Another option is this beautiful chest from the Gramercy Park Collection. I feel sure that if I had this chest in my bedroom and put the TV in it, I would never watch television because I would keep the doors closed all the time so I could admire the quality workmanship of the piece. This would free up hours and hours that I would normally spend watching TV (IF I actually watched TV) so that I could blog endlessly about how happy I was with my new Lane Gramercy Park cabinet. This would make all my readers rush out to their nearest Lane Furniture dealer to buy complete bedroom suites so they could feel just a fraction of the satisfaction I felt from having my very own piece of free customer appreciation Lane furniture.

I don't mean to put the pressure on Lane or anything, but I have been appreciated by other major companies for my loyalty to their brand and I would hate for Lane to be outdone. Just this past week I got a package in the mail from Goo Gone (which I will write about soon) that included several lovely gifts including a free bottle of Goo Gone AND a t-shirt! That's right. Stick that in your cedar chest and lock it, Lane.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My daughter thinks I'm immature.

Me: I just love this! (Waving arms like a magic wand in front of the freezer cases at Kroger so the motion sensor lights will come on).

Taylor: You're such a child.

Me: I'm just having fun. They didn't have these at the Winn Dixie in Lafayette. (Still waving my magic wand arms.)

Taylor: Yeah well you can have all the fun you want in 'the home' cuz I'm not taking care of you when you're old.

Me: But I'll be one of those fun old ladies, not crabby like ________ (uummm...another mother that we know).

Taylor: You are too high strung for me.

Me: Look! There's a whole nuther aisle of freezer cases!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

As The Barn Turns

You know you got to go through hell before you get to heaven.
 --Steve Miller Band

Drama can creep up in areas of your life where you least expect it. There is very little drama around Casa Del Verde because it's just the three of us and we're all passive/aggressive. There's no yelling, door slamming or fighting, just maybe an occasional disagreement that might even look like playful banter from the outside. Afterwards we all retire to our separate corners and quietly plot our heinous revenge on each other. The problem is in addition to being passive/aggressive we're also inherently lazy so we never actually get around to carrying out our elaborate revenge plans. Eventually we get bored with the revenge and we forget what the original fight was even about so we go along our merry way like nothing ever happened. It works for us. Well, it works for us as long as we all stay heavily medicated and believe you me...we do.

There is always drama back home with my Mom, Dad, and sister but it's hard to get too wrapped up in it from 350 miles away. I feel bad that my sister has to shoulder all of the parent drama for us but I'm not sure what to do about that. She and I have talked about the situation and how unfair it is that we not only have our own families and children to raise but we're also having to raise our parents because they've both made a mess of their lives. And it's not like they're feeble and elderly, it would probably be easier on us if they were. They're still healthy enough to fight back and give us lip when we're just trying to help them to do the right thing. They both just need to be grounded and lose a few privileges so maybe they'll learn some of the lessons they failed to learn 40 years ago.

My current drama is barn related. When we moved here we left our horse, DeeDee, in Lafayette until we could find a barn for her. It took us months to find a barn in the Cypress area that we could afford and was close to our house but we finally stumbled upon one we'll call Barn One. We don't own a horse trailer so one of the owners of Barn One, we'll call him Bob, helped us to find someone to haul her here. When we were ready to make the move, I emailed Bob to let him know that we were ready and he didn't reply. I'm the patient type so I gave him some time and about a week later the co-owner of Barn One, we'll call her Sue, called to let me know that Bob was no longer part of the barn and she'd be handling everything from now on.

That was fine with me, whatever, I just needed to get my horse here and get her settled in. Sue gave me the number for a man who she thought might be able to move DeeDee so I called him. He was a very nice man and the timing just didn't work out but we did find a nice woman who was able to get DeeDee here on Thursday of last week, two days before her health certificate expired. Why plan ahead when you can just wait until the last minute? That's my motto.

From the time Sue first called me she's been giving me regular updates on everything that Bob has done wrong and the changes she plans to make, etc. I had not heard from Bob in quite some time so I believed what she said even though I was uncomfortable hearing about their personal business. I'm basically just a customer, I don't need to know the details of their business arrangement. I just want my horse taken care of.

I hoped everything would eventually blow over but realized that was wishful thinking when Taylor called me from the barn on Sunday afternoon. She said, "Um, Mom? There's 3 police cars here. What should I do?" I wanted to say, "Shoot me. Just shoot me in the head so I don't have to deal with anymore drama that doesn't even belong to me!!" But instead I told her to get her horse and go on about her business. If the police were there, she was safe. After the police left, Sue filled Taylor in on why they were there, of course it was Bob's fault. I couldn't understand how this could be happening. Bob seemed like such a nice man when I met him and everything I was hearing now just didn't make sense. 

To add to my confusion, on Monday morning I got a call from Bob saying that he was back, even though he technically never left, and he would be taking over everything now. Then he proceeded to share with me everything that Sue had done wrong and all the changes he planned to make at the barn.

I don't know either of these people and each one is telling me that the other one is not good for my horse to be around and I was so confused I didn't know what to do. The only person I knew of who knows both Bob and Sue was the first guy I called about moving DeeDee. I sent him a text message (since it would be easier for him to ignore a text than a phone call if he chose to do so, and I wouldn't have blamed him!) telling him that I was confused about the Bob and Sue situation, I was beginning to think one of them was half crazy but I couldn't tell which one, and I asked if he had any advice. To my surprise he called me right back and we had a nice conversation. The first sane conversation I'd had with anyone in at least a week.

I told him I really felt like we just needed to remove ourselves from this situation and let them work things out but I had no place to put my horse. I asked if he knew of someplace we could go that wouldn't require me to sell any major organs to pay for it. As luck would have it, he said we could put DeeDee in the barn where he kept his horses, just down the street from Barn One. The price was comparable and he guaranteed me no drama. I couldn't get her there fast enough.

Yesterday I called Sue and told her that we would be moving DeeDee just because of the situation with Bob and the tension it causes, etc. I like Sue, I have no hard feelings toward her at all and I think she understood. She is looking for land of her own and I hope she can find something suitable.

Just before dark, Taylor and I went to Barn One to pick up DeeDee and walk her to her new home: Barn Two. Bob was there, along with a bunch of other people, so I told him that we'd decided to move DeeDee and he understood. I like Bob, I have nothing against him either. He plans to use the barn more for his family and grandchildren rather than boarders and I hope that works out well for him.

Barn Two is quite different from Barn One. They don't have a large pasture but they do have several small arenas and round pens for working with your horse. The barn is 30 years old so it's showing its age but it's still the nicest barn we've ever used.  While we were showing DeeDee around and talking to the owner, my cell phone rang. When I answered, Sue asked me if I was okay. I said yes and asked her why. She said that someone at Barn One told her that Bob was yelling at me and was mad because we were moving DeeDee. At that moment, I wished I'd had two forks: one for each eyeball. I told her the information she got was completely false and that I'd had a nice conversation with Bob and he wasn't angry at all. When she hung up I made a mental note to get my cell number changed.

DeeDee is used to living in a pasture so she will have to adjust to spending her days in a stall. She will go out for a few hours every day but it's completely different from what she's used to. Fortunately, she's so good natured that she won't have any problems I'm sure.

This barn is so peaceful, there's only a few boarders and the owners are just about the nicest people I've ever met. My only concern is a stupid one. The barn is full of show horses. The first horse we saw had a blinding sheen coming off its coat. I kid you not, I could see myself in that horse's coat. His mane was perfectly groomed and the braid in his tail looked like it was silk. He didn't even have the decency to have any eye boogers! What kind of horse never has an eye booger??

The other two were just as gorgeous and I started feeling like trailer park trash had come to town! DeeDee rolled in mud earlier in the day so it was caked on her back, her mane was a tangled mess and I can't remember the last time her tail was braided. She couldn't have looked any more out of place if she'd had curlers in her hair and was wearing a ratty housecoat.
DeeDee in Louisiana looking pretty fine.
DeeDee in Houston looking like trailer park trash.

She does clean up beautifully and will be back to her glamorous self soon but right now she's looking pretty rough. It will be worse in a few days when the rest of the horses come back from whatever show they're attending.

So what's the point of the story? Just to share some barn gossip? No, that's not the point, that was just a bonus. The point is that I'm usually a fairly good judge of character. I don't always get it right but I can usually tell when I need to stay away from someone. I didn't get any of those signals from the folks at Barn One and ended up making a bad decision to board our horse there.

Or was it a bad decision? Barn Two doesn't advertise for boarders. It doesn't even have a name. You have to know somebody just to even find out about it. I would never have found out about it had I not called the man that Barn One recommended to move Dee Dee. I would never have met that man without the folks at Barn One. So you see? All this drama, which is SO minor in the overall scheme of things, was necessary in order for us to find the place where we're supposed to be. It was all planned out ahead of time, we just had to wade through the muck to get to the lush pasture on the other side.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It doesn't get more mundane than this. Today anyway.

I feel like all I talk about these days is crafts and thrifting and decorating my house. Oh wait, that IS all I talk about because that's all I'm doing right now. It's a good thing I called this blog "mundane" entertainment. Keeps expectations low so I don't disappoint.

Yesterday I spent the day cleaning our new used Craigslist living room furniture and rearranging it about a dozen times till I got it where I wanted it. Because some furniture moved, some pictures had to move too so I took care of those today.

My Cotan prints are hanging above the same cabinet that they were, they've just moved down about a foot. I never measure when I hang pictures and these two are particularly tricky because the bottoms are supposed to be even. I did pretty good with that but they're too far apart and you know what? Right now I don't care. They can just stay that way until their freakishly large gap starts keeping me up at night. Then I'll rehang them again.

 I moved my Delft collection to the top of the bookcase and put these glass vases full of marbles here. They're just cheap vases that came with different flower arrangements and I put marbles in them that I bought at the Dollar Tree. It makes them look special but they're not.

I thought I wanted my canvas collage to hang in the foyer about 15' up the wall but today I changed my mind. Jayson will be glad to hear that. But I have NOT changed my mind about hanging that heavy headboard so he's still got to figure that one out. Okay, fine, I'll figure it out and tell him what to do. It works for us. I put the collage above my desk and I like it there. It would pop better on a darker wall but I don't have that option here.

I moved the cross that used to hang there into the dining room where it works very well. There was too much back light to get a good picture but you get the idea. You also get the idea that my dining table is a mess. That's the way it usually looks. I'm certainly not going to cook a big fancy dinner any time soon and I'm not about having unused furniture sitting around just for show. That table is huge which makes it the perfect place for me to spread out my stuff when I'm working on a project. That means it has a few paint splatters on it as well as some exacto knife cuts but that's fine with me. I'd rather it show signs of being used and loved rather than being covered in dust and just taking up space.

I bought a couple of frames while I was out thrifting last week and had no idea what I'd use them for. Today I found that I had 2 pictures that needed frames and just happened to be the exact right size. See, I think sometimes I know what I'm doing without knowing that I know what I'm doing.

The first picture is one of me when I was about 4 years old I think. It looks really good in the frame but Taylor pointed out that the frame overpowers all the other pictures on the wall and she's right. I really don't want to paint this frame so I might just sand it and antique it. I could crackle it with some white paint. That might actually look good.

In my other new frame I put a photograph taken by my friend Blake Bernard. I think he took it somewhere around Scott, LA and it's just beautiful. It's always been one of my favorite photographs but I've never had a frame for it. This isn't necessarily the "right" frame for it but it's good for now.

I put the stand that went to my now deceased gazing ball in the living room and set my crown on it. Then today I added the silver tray to make it look more like a table. It's eclectic. I'm going with it.

I picked up some used books today because most of the ones I have are great for ripping pages out of but not so great for removing the covers and spine. Mine aren't old enough. The older they are the easier they are to take apart so I got some older books and some that were water damaged. The water damaged books are the BEST!! Not only do they come apart easily but the pages are already nice and stained so I don't have to give them a coffee bath.

 A couple of the books were saved from my exacto knife because of their coolness. The one on top is a German translation of John Galsworthy's book "Beyond". I saved it because it's German and anything that's not English is cool. The book on the bottom is "No Enemy But Himself" by Elbert Hubbard, published by The Roycrofters in 1934. I'd never heard of The Roycrofters before but what I Googled was fascinating. They played a huge part in the American Arts and Crafts movement in the early 20th century. The book has beautiful unfinished edges and the title line on each page is printed in red. It's selling for $40-$50 in rare book stores right now so I do believe I'll just hang on to it for a while.

Last week I saw a wedding dress at one of my favorite thrift stores but I didn't buy it and I've been regretting it ever since. Seriously. I've thought about that dress every day and how I didn't listen to my instincts and just foolishly left it there. I didn't want just any wedding dress but one with lots of removable lace trim and beading that I could use on other projects. $50 was the reason I didn't buy the dress. That's a lot for a thrifted item, in my world. Later I considered that not only would I get yards and yards of wide lace trim but fabric and tulle as well then suddenly it became a bargain. It was meant for me to buy a wedding dress because today I stumbled upon this beaut at a totally different thrift store. I sometimes manage to learn from my mistakes so I bought this one like my gut told me to.

I snapped one quick picture of the dress with my phone before I started disassembling it. I'm sure it was lovely 10-20 years ago but now it's just heinous. I will admit that the fabric is good. I can't identify exactly what it is but my guess is that it's a good quality polyester taffeta. It could easily pass for silk. It's fully lined with a layer of tulle between the dress and lining.

The person who wore this dress was either 6' tall or a man. It is freakishly long from shoulder to hemline. When I took it apart I tried on the bodice which I could wear as a mini dress if I ever decide to be a hooker grandma again.

The bodice is covered in lace and beads and there are fabric covered buttons down the back and on the sleeves. I can just see some of the lace and beads decorating my white pumpkins this Halloween! No, I didn't drop $50 on a wedding dress just to decorate pumpkins, I do have other plans for it. The pumpkins are just a bonus. Not that I wouldn't spend $50 to decorate pumpkins, I just didn't. This time.

Speaking of Halloween, I saw this project on a website, tried it and failed miserably. I make stuff that turns out really crappy all the time, I just don't take pictures of it. Usually. This time I did because this one has potential. You start with a toilet paper tube, add hot glue in drippy patterns that look like wax, then stick a tealight inside it. It's supposed to look like a drippy waxy Halloween candle. Mine looks like Cousin Itt in white dreadlocks.

I made two mistakes that I know of. One is that I used a mini glue gun so that I could use up a bunch of little sticks of brightly colored glittery hot glue that have been lying around for years. I figured I was painting it anyway, so the color of the glue didn't matter. This is true but each of those fat blobs took almost one whole mini glue stick and my hand was a cramped mess by the time I got done. My second mistake was not waiting to paint it until the next day when I could go to the store to get some off white spray paint. I wanted instant results so I gave the blob a coat of gesso and painted it with acrylic craft paint. The gesso gave the glue an unwanted texture and the paint cracked in the seams where it was too thick.

I might still be able to save this little guy with the proper paint but if I make another one I will use full size CLEAR glue sticks and I will not use gesso. Getting in a hurry is usually the root of most of my creative failures.

I rearrange my costume jewelry on a pretty regular basis because I have yet to find the perfect storage/display solution for it. I've had it on a thrift store rack for a while now but I've decided that's not the best use for that rack. I've been unable to find a curio cabinet for my large collection I might use that rack for them.

This is the latest incarnation of my costume jewelry display. It's in a corner of our bedroom and it's temporary. That little table is all wrong but it's all I've got right now. I would like to find some kind of corner shelf or cabinet thing to put there.  Once I do that, then I can hang the tennis rackets and the rake head in some way that makes sense. Right now they make no sense placement wise, but I love how they function.

Once I decide where everything will go I can bring out the rest of it which is stored in a separate jewelry box right now. I'm not even sure why I have so much costume jewelry, I really don't wear it very often. I love it, I love to make it, I just rarely wear it.

Oh yeah, all of this doesn't include all the jewelry that I've made. It's pretty well stored in my art room until I go on another jewelry making frenzy and overflow my bins.

Then I'll just have to convert other lawn tools into jewelry holders. I bet a chainsaw would make a great necklace holder. I could put a little hook on each one of the peaks on the blade so that when you turn it on the necklaces would spin around so you could choose the one you want to those tie racks that spin around. I would just have to figure out how to slow it down so that it doesn't fling the necklaces everywhere. Hey, I might be on to something! I feel an infomercial in my future. But don't worry, my chainsaw necklace spinner would be completely safe for home use since I would only make them from electric powered chainsaws, not gas. I'm not an idiot.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Not to Thrift

I did some heavy thrifting today since I'm afraid the next 3 weeks are going to be a tad on the busy side. We finally found someone to move our horse here from Louisiana so we'll be getting her settled in. It's always tough being the new girl at the barn so she'll probably get picked on at first but she's likely to inflict more injuries than she sustains since she's a "big boned girl".

We have friends coming to stay with us both next weekend and the weekend after. Then the week after that is the Global Leadership Summit. We're going to the satellite location at Copperfield Church this year which should be fun. I just happened to drive past it the other day and was glad to see that it's conveniently located on Highway 6 right between Wings & More and the U-Haul place. That might seem like unusual placement for a church but it makes more sense to me than the location of the Saint Mary & Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church. If you're tooling down Highway 6 in the Copperfield Shopping Center area just look for the gleaming copper domes sticking up behind the Randall's grocery store.

Back to shopping. I took lots of pictures so I'll keep the commentary to a minimum. I got all of these little wooden spools at the MAM Resale Store for $.25. That was $.25 for the all of them, not each. Heck of a deal.

Remember this project? I wanted some way to secure the hand towels and wash cloths to the inside lid of the suitcase.
A brilliant friend suggested using a pair of suspenders. I'm not one to just run to the suspender store and pick some up. No, I must do it the hard way by waiting until fate places the perfect suspenders in the perfect thrift store at the perfect time and the perfect price. Fate came through today and I picked up 2 pairs. I haven't quite worked out the attachment to the lid thing yet but I'll get there. Baby steps. Oh, and I would really like to meet the man who wore those candy striped suspenders.

I like containers of just about any kind but especially boxes. I knew I needed this box as soon as I saw it but I'm not sure exactly what for yet. It was under $2 so I'm not in a huge hurry to give it purpose. Plus, I hate that leaf thing on the front so I'm going to cover that whole flap with some kind of pretty paper.

The Family Thrift Center in Spring Branch is one of my favorites even though I am the only white girl in the place every time I shop there. I have a feeling it might not be in the safest part of town since their shopping carts have those big plastic anti-shoplifting tags attached all over them. When I was in there today a rather homeless looking man came up to me and mumbled something incomprehensible then held out his hand which contained one very dirty penny. I knew he was asking me to add to his penny but the way he held out his hand sort of looked like he might be offering it to me. I was SO tempted to take his penny and thank him for it but that would have required me to touch the penny and I might not be current on all my shots. Instead I gave him the deadly Green Family Stink Eye and waved him away. I don't have a lot of compassion for panhandlers (or anyone else, really) which actually works to my advantage here in Houston.

Anyway, I picked up a couple of packages of skirt hangers since I never have enough of them. Almost all of my purses and tote bags are hanging from skirt hangers as well as my large sheets of exotic papers in my art room. I might actually have a skirt hanging from one somewhere but I really can't remember.

I know, I know. What the heck, right? I just couldn't resist this big funky key. It's heavy brass and I think it might look kinda cool hanging on a wall after I paint and distress it.

The Family Thrift Center has tons of linens which are my favorite things to buy at a thrift store. I picked up a sheet with a little floral pattern on it that I will probably use in a project rather than on a bed. I got a couple more lace window panels and a valance plus 4 tab-top canvas panels to use on a couple more of my 20+ naked windows that are waiting for treatments. All of our windows have mini blinds but still look naked without something to froof them up. I think I bought somebody's wedding veil cuz it's a huge piece of soft tulle with finished edges. I don't have a specific plan for it yet but I can think of a dozen different ways to use it. I also got a couple of pillowcases that are the thickest, softest cotton I've ever felt in my life. My sister will be jealous, she likes pillowcases. Freak.

I picked up a couple of frames because who doesn't need to frame stuff, right? This layered wooden frame has lots of potential.

I'm pretty sure that either my mother or one of my grandmothers had a frame just like this at one time. It matches my house perfectly.

When I set the two frames aside I stacked them and look what happened.
I think I'll be doing a little alteration to make those two frames become one. I love it when I accidentally get an idea that way.

These two yucky old tennis rackets looked like earring holders to me. They just need to be cleaned up a little and hung on a wall.

I've had Halloween on my mind a lot lately and I'm really going to miss the hundreds of trick-or-treaters we used to get in Lafayette. To get my mind off it I decided I'd just decorate our house for no good reason. We're not having a party because we know like 2 people here and we're not likely to get more than a small handful of trick-or-treaters. It just doesn't seem right to let those little details put a damper on our fun so I've decided to pretty up the house a little in the name of a festive spirit. I wanted to do a whole Day of the Dead theme complete with smiling skulls all over the place but Taylor poo-pooed that idea because of creepiness. Sometimes I swear she was switched at birth.

Plan B is a black and white Halloween with lots of black and white pumpkins. I especially like the idea of using white pumpkins, either real ones of fake ones painted white, and wrapping them with black lace or other sheer fabric. I might also cut out some Victorian silhouettes for the windows and maybe put some fake ravens in the yard. You know...classy Halloween stuff.

The Family Thrift Center had tons of party dresses that had the perfect fabrics on them but I'll have to buy them a few at a time since we have one income now and my full time job is to spend it. Some of the dresses were around $10 which is great for a size 16 that will cover several pumpkins but not so great for a size 2 that won't even fit around one pumpkin. I opted to buy as large as I could.

This dress was probably half way decent at one time. It's covered with black sequins and little fake pearls and will make some very well dressed pumpkins.

This skirt was on the same hanger with the dress even though the two obviously don't go together. I doubt I would have bought the skirt on its own but since it was a gift with purchase I'll use it. It's a size 24 which gives me lots of silver sequin covered silk to use on my pumpkins. Those gold sequin flowers will sleep with the fishes.

This little ensemble is made from the finest polyester satin which I'm sure I will find a use for even though it's not one of the fabrics I was looking for. What caught my eye was the lovely sequin-edged polychiffon (I just made that word up) wrap that came with it. It looked like a pumpkin cover to me. The dress was $9 but I couldn't justify paying that much just because I like the little wrap and was about to put it back on the rack until I lifted the skirt.

There, hiding beneath the lusciously thick and not the least bit breathable polyester satin was a pettitcoat made from yards and yards of stiff black tulle. SCORE!! I can probably cover at least half a dozen large pumpkins with the tulle and then I still have the rest of the dress as a bonus. Suddenly, $9 was a bargain.

I grabbed a few other less interesting things that I won't bore you with but obviously it was a good thrifting day. I will now spend the rest of my week bonding with my seam ripper.